Navi Mumbai: Traders body opposes pulses stock limit, threatens to go on indefinite strike

Traders body has opposed the central government decision of limiting the stock of pulses till October and they have threatened to go on strike. They claimed that the price of pulses in the wholesale market is lower than the minimum support price and there is no reason to limit the stock.

The government issued a notification on July 2 setting a limit on stocks on wholesalers, retailers, millers and importers on all pulses except moong.

As per the notification, wholesalers can only stock up 200 tonnes (provided there should not be more than 100 tonnes of one variety) of pulses, retailers can only stock 5 tonnes while for millers, it is either the last three months of production or 25 percent of annual installed capacity, whichever is higher.

Navi Mumbai unit of Grain, Rice & Oilseeds Merchants Association (GROMA), a trade body said that farmers, pulse traders, brokers, millers, importers, consumers will all be badly affected by the decision. Sharad Kumar Maru, president of GROMA has strongly opposed it and they claimed that the whole country even today there is a lower price than MSP.

He added that the government has repealed the Essential Commodities Act so that traders, millers, etc. can buy and stock goods as per the need. “This will increase demand and increase the price of farmers' goods and give them more benefits,” said Maru.

Traders say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision was to get double the price of farmers' produce by 2022, which no longer seems possible as traders cannot but pulses more than the limit and farm produce will be lying idle with the farmers.

Groma Bhimji Bhanushali, Secretary GROMA said that farmers have to sell the pulses within three months. “While the government buys 10 percent of the grain from the farmers at MSP price and the remaining 90 percent is bought by brokers, millers, corporates, traders that are supplied till the next year crop,” said Bhanushali. He added that the stock limit will ruin the farmer and the image of PM Modi.

Bhanushali said that most of the mandis across the country are closed in protest of the stock limit. “If the order is not canceled, markets across the country may close indefinitely. Traders of Navi Mumbai GROMA have strongly opposed the law and urged the government to withdraw the order,” said Bhanushali.

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